Ep 24 Kentucky Tax Payers Take A Big One on the Chin

Note: Blog post may vary from the recording

Welcome from the racing capital of the world Speedway, IN, my name is Nick Sturgeon host and show creator. I am so very glad you are here with me this week as we get into episode 24. This week I am going to take a bit of a different turn and look to more of what is going on in a couple of State’s that I have not covered before. As the title of the show indicates, the main story that I am covering this week comes out of my birth state Kentucky. Now don’t hold the fact that I was born in Kentucky against me. I haven’t called Kentucky home ever as I was 1 and ½ when we moved to southern Indiana. All joking aside, I still have family that lives in Kentucky and this story directly affects them. This story is a prime example of how government screws ups, even at the state and local levels, will cost tax payers billions of dollars. More than that there are a couple of other things I want to address which are directly tech related but have applicability to other non-tech related issues. More on that in a bit. A little bit of show news. I have purchased some new equipment for the podcast which I am using today, so if you notice a bit of difference in sound quality please bear with me as I am getting things configured to my liking. Also I have a really big guest that will be on the show for the week of October 15 I am looking forward to pushing that interview to you guys. Also I am working on a couple of more guests to come on in the weeks to follow so stay tune for that.

As a quick update, the Senate made a key procedural vote on Friday which moves the confirmation of Kavanaugh closer to reality. I have read a couple of articles that made some good points. From a strategy standpoint the Republicans have done a masterful job using the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh as a distraction from what I see are the key issues that really go to the heart of how he will be as a judge on the supreme court. As I have stated previously, my real issues with Kavanaugh go to his views on the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Specifically his role in and is views on the Patriot Act. This quote from an post on FEE.com:

However, in a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh ruled that “the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” He also later stated that “that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.” Again, a rather odd conclusion for a staunch “constitutionalist” to support.

The federal government will always find a need and will always be able to find something to rationalize and justify their national security interests. To get back on track, the Republications have been able to use these allegations as cover fire for what are true concerns about Judge Kavanaugh. Not some half baked and baseless allegations from 37 years ago. For more on the other constitutional reasons to oppose Kavanaugh and not the things that have come up from this circus of a confirmation process go check out the post from FEE.com the link is in the show notes.

For those of you who are first time listeners thank you for tuning in. It is my goal to keep you around coming back week in and week out. If you are a returning listener, you continued support is very much appreciated. Outside of listening, I ask a couple of simple things, share the show with your network, subscribe, rate, review and go sign up for my mailing list at cyberdotnow.com for the latest news, insights and behind the scene information.
Before I take a quick break and play by ad about the Cybertech Midwest Conference coming up on the 23rd of this month. We are getting really close to the conference and I just want to put out this challenge. If you are with in a days drive of Indy you need to register for this conference. I am hoping to be able to do a live broadcast from CyberTech. If you listen to this show and want to come on the air to talk about your thoughts on the conference come find me. I will post my location day of. I will be right back.

Ad 1 Cyber Tech Midwest

This is a follow up to last week’s show. As I discussed last week Facebook was the target of a cyber attack that affected 50 million users. In an article from CNBC that came out this past Monday October 1, the report is that the attack was fairly sophisticated taking advantage of three different bugs. [Read Story]

One of my favorite subjects next to cybersecurity is data analytics. I really became a data nerd during grad school. Thought one of the tougher classes I took Stats 501 was one of the most impactful and fun classes from my two years of grad school. In another article from State Scoop this one is titled “Virginia prepares opioid data-sharing and analysis platform” [Read Story]

We can have a discussion on whether or not this is a program government needs to be funding at a latter time. But part of me says yes and part of me says no. The part of me that says yes points to the fact that we need data and more some better data to make better decisions. One of my biggest critiques against government is that they tend to make bad decisions in part because it is political and part because they just don’t have good information to go on. I realize that the opioid problem is very complex there are federal and state policies, laws and regulations that are to blame especially in the “war or drugs” and on and on. There are issues in and through the health care system which can be primarily blamed on the federal government. But I digress, given that the government is collecting data and we want them to make the best decisions possible and given that there is a limited amount of resources to go around, are these data analytics programs justifiable from a constitutional stand point? Granted there are privacy concerns on top of the others concerns. But do the benefits of making better decisions outweigh the negatives? We’ve talked about the issues and concerns about companies doing this exact same thing. Again if a business or government can make better decisions about what they do which could lead to better fiscal decisions is that a bad thing? My initial thoughts are to be supportive of these types of programs. Here comes a big BUT. But, I think there should be a very fine line in how they are carried out, what data they can collect, and how the data is then used. This goes back to my concerns with Kavanaugh and his decisions in these types of programs. I think the main difference here is using the data you already have versus taking very forceful, active, and subversive means to collect data.

Now to the headline story. Kentucky tax payers take a big $1.5 Billion hit on the chin. As reported on by StateScoop, “Broadband project to cost Kentucky taxpayers $1.5 billion after policy turnabout” [Read Story].

For my friends and family that live in Kentucky you all should be pissed! I am upset for you. This is unacceptable. I would be voting out the governor, legislators and any other state level elected official starting with the ones up for reelection in November. This is waste fraud and abuse of your money at the most egresses levels. I would be demanding answers on how something like this could get so far out of hand. I get how rural Kentucky is I spent may days in my childhood in the rural parts of north central Kentucky. When we look at the costs of putting these types of services to areas with very small population 1000 people or less versus the revenue that is brought in. We have to be honest with ourselves. I am making the numbers up here but if it cost 3 million dollars to bring in broad band to a small town and the ongoing maintenance is 1 million a year. And let’s say the revenue is coming in is only going to be $500,000 a year. Does that make sense for a company to make that investment? On the numbers alone no it doesn’t. The company would be upside down very quick. What we see that the government will come in and subsidize these projects. The justification is usually something on the lines of giving these smaller towns equally opportunities as those in more urban areas. There are two libertarian options here, if people really want broad band internet speeds they can either move to the more urban areas that have this infrastructure or they can stay and pay the initial and ongoing costs to have that brought in. What we see time and again is that people look to government to force companies to put these services in or they use tax money collected to subsidize the costs. I grew up in a very rural area. Hell I didn’t have cable until I went to college. Though we did get internet very early one. Heck, if I had to guess we were probably one of the first houses in my neighborhood to have it. Our speeds were only at the fastest dialup speeds available at that time. Should the people of those small towns force the rest of us to pay for their internet services? At the risk of ticking off my family and friends my answer is no. I miss the country life. One of the things I want to do is go back to not having neighbors that are mere feet away on either side. Living in the “big” city was a choice that I happily made. I knew that to get the type of experiences that were going to pay the level of salary I wanted I would need to be in a bigger city, relatively speaking. I realize that even being in Indy there are experiences that I am potentially limiting myself too. Those are conscious choices. As I side note I refuse to use the word sacrifices, I feel by using that term it denotes a victims mind set. I wanted more for my life than just to be comfortable with the status quo. I wanted to challenge myself to make a life that would have impact and meaning. I do not for one instance think that I am better than anyone else. Regardless of how difficult things may have been for me growing up I still look back on my childhood and high school days with fondness. I use the difficult times as motivation to keep pushing to become better tomorrow than I was yesterday. I push myself to provide the opportunities for my kids that I did not have. I am thankful to all those in my past that have left positive and negative influences on me. But to be where I am at today comes to, it is all about choices. We all make them and we have to live with them. Now whether or not the outcomes are positive or negative is about mind set. Winners will win no matter their situation. Losers will complain and blame other people for how things turned out. I don’t know about you but I am a winner! So go win baby! To wrap this up, we have to determine what is more valuable to us, money, stuff, the solitude of living in the country, but realize those choices come at the cost of giving up something else. It is not moral to then demand for someone else to pay for or force them to provide that which we choice to give up or more so choose not to work towards. If you want something go earn it or pay for it out of your own sweat, labor and coin. I will say it again, it is not moral to demand or force someone else to provide it to you.

On that note, that’s it for this week’s show. Thank you all for tuning in, I hope you enjoyed it. Again, if you want to join in on the conversation go to the show’s web page at http://www.cyberdotnow.com, Facebook and twitter. If you want to get a hold of me directly you can find me on Twitter @The_Polititech or email me at cyberdotnow@outlook.com. Finally, please remember to go to iTunes and/or SoundCloud to subscribe, rate, review and don’t forget to share the show. If you guys do all of that I will be back again next week to do this again. Until then have a great week, talk to you soon.


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